A finger of white water speckled by the occasional dark frond of partially submerged kelp surged up the undercut gulley. The movement suggested a coming together of force and object in explosion but the surge quickly lost impetus near the narrowed top of the gulley and the water meekly withdrew until the next swell started to feel the gulley’s mouth . Mouse dragged her gaze from the metronomic contest between land and sea and looked further out . A thick swell undulated towards the coast. The khaki coloured swells were slightly ruffled by the gentle cross on-shore south westerly wind. These khaki ranks moved towards the coast with intent and a menace that Mouse saw only a few times every winter. The weak early morning sun promised much.
The twins had slunk off to the bus stop this morning. Fanned by a waft of incomplete homework they sheltered under a persistent grey cloud of early morning grumpiness. Mouse sighed and then caught her mouth curling into an anarchic smile at a distant memory of another sulky teen. This one did n’t always even make it to the bus stop. She shoved the memory back into the depths.Rob was now at work. In the dark early morning he had accepted Mouse’s plans for the morning with his usual equanimity. He had even ground the coffee and buttered the toast. She wondered what the small price would be that she would charge to herself for his benevolence.
Mouse peered from her vantage point on the cliff edge and followed the meandering coastal path as far as the topography would allow. It cut through hawthorn thickets, a rock field and finally into a steep hillside of bracken before the summit ate it up. The spot she had in mind was a couple of miles further on which translated into climbing in and out of four steeply cut valleys. The final valley had a silvery stream at its base that chucked itself off the cliff onto the rocks of the seashore. The sides of the waterfall decorated by emerald green and orange algae marked the end of Mouse’s journey and the beginning of her adventure.
She stood up and stubbed out her rollie cigarette. Grabbing her board after slinging her back pack on she walked on. Mouse encountered not one soul on her way to the valley with the waterfall excepting a couple of grazing rabbits on the side of the path.She walked down the steep slope of the final valley and scoped the cliff around the waterfall for a safe way down. There was none immediately obvious to her so she looked over the edge of the cliff into the shallow bay below. Just as she had long suspected a brown wave unzipped itself along the headland at the south of the bay. Excitedly she retraced her steps two hundred yards or so where there was a stubby promontory forming the other side of the bay. After searching the undergrowth for a while she found an animal track that petered out half way down the cliff. The final thirty feet involved a steep climb down to the shore. Mouse negotiated the first twenty feet with care but came to a halt at a narrow ledge. The cliff face was completely sheer. Somewhat tensely she grabbed a course tussock of grass to steady herself and gently lowered her board by its leash down the wall. The boards nose reached the rocky shore below and it came to a precarious rest against the cliff face. She removed the back pack and dropped it on the shore near the nose of the board. Then very carefully she bent down and lowered herself from the narrow ledge by her hands until she hung with her chest against the cliff face. There was brief moment of contemplation and then she let go. She landed lightly on her feet without the need to step back. Mouse put on her pack and gathered her board back under her arm. Looking south and out to sea an almond shaped eye winked at her as a sun blushed wave rolled along the opposite headland.
This was going to the day long anticipated and hopefully another one to remember.